Student Stories

People who have received scholarships while attending Houston Community College know firsthand how much a scholarship can help students complete their higher education.

Here are just a few of their stories:

"I was amazed at how many scholarships are available for students of all different backgrounds."

Nancy Berkey, Nursing Student

HCC Scholarship Recipient
Home: Houston

Nancy Berkey knows what it means to compromise.  As a young couple, Nancy and her husband Raymond realized that compromising was the only way they could both get an education and fulfill their career aspirations.

Originally from Wattsburg, Pennsylvania, Nancy and Raymond moved to Houston in 2000.  Nancy dreamed of becoming a nurse, though she had already obtained her associate’s degree in specialized business with an emphasis in medical coding and transcription at Tri-State Business Institute.  She placed her nursing ambitions on hold, however, to help support her husband’s educational pursuits.  Nancy held two full-time jobs in the medical coding and billing industry while her husband worked toward his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Houston. 

When Raymond graduated in 2006, Nancy could not wait to seize the opportunity to continue her education.  She quit working to attend classes at HCC’s Northwest College—just as student loan bills for her husband’s education began to arrive.  She had never considered applying for scholarships until a professor encouraged her to explore financial aid options at HCC.  Through the HCC Foundation*, she applied for several scholarships, hoping she would fit the criteria of one of the more than 275 scholarships offered.  “I was amazed at how many scholarships are available for students of all different backgrounds,” says Nancy. 

In April 2008, Nancy was awarded two scholarships from the HCC Foundation that significantly reduced her financial burden.  She was thrilled with the good news.  “The scholarships I received helped relieve the financial stress of having only one income and tremendously helped me in moving toward my career goals,” she says.

Nancy flourished in her studies at the Spring Branch and Katy campuses, graduating in May 2009 with an associate of science degree.  While a student, she was on the dean’s list every semester and kept active by serving as the president and historian of the Rotaract Club, playing on the HCC softball team, and participating with Phi Theta Kappa, Psi Beta, and Tri-Beta.

Now Nancy is attending the nursing program at HCC’s Coleman College for Health Sciences and plans to receive her bachelor’s degree in nursing in the future.  She continues to volunteer with Lighthouse of Houston and St. Bartholomew’s Church in Katy.  Nancy says she is “proud to be an HCC alumna” and knows that HCC has prepared her for a university course load and for her future career.

“It is because of the generous support of this scholarship that I get that much closer to my dream of helping lead others to conquer their dysfunction and seek a more fulfilling life. This scholarship inspires and encourages me to continue to do my absolute best. ”

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